Ask a Question forum: Taro illustris

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Perth wa
Hannah10
Dec 1, 2018 4:27 AM CST
Hey guys... so I finally found myself some new beauty's. I found them at Woodvale fish and Lilly farm in Perth. I was so happy as I couldn't find any anywhere. I am desperate to keep these babies indoors, I have been told this is possible?? These were In pots and submerged in water when I got them. I no longer have them in water but their pots are wet. Please tell me how I can keep them in my home Smiling I am in Perth Australia.
Also what are these marks on the leaves?? Hope to hear from you soon Hannah Smiling
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Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
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sallyg
Dec 1, 2018 6:42 AM CST
Check for dusty dirt or webbing underneath. Looks similar to spider mite damage. Or sunburn?
The elephant ear types I have grown are pretty good survivors.
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Name: Will Creed
NYC
Professional indoor plant consultan
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WillC
Dec 1, 2018 8:37 AM CST
Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris' or Taro plant is usually grown in wet soil or in aquariums during the warmer months. As the days shorten, they are allowed to dry out completely and the bulbs are stored in dry soil in a cool location for 4 months or so before they are brought out of dormancy by resuming watering.

Not sure what is causing the leaf discoloration on yours, but if you put it into dormancy that should solve the problem. However, my concern is that your seasons are reversed in Australia, so yours is now well into its normal growing season. You may want to treat the leaves with soap and water or simply cut them off entirely as it enters its growing season. When not in dormancy, it does best indoors in a sunny location or outdoors in light shade.
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Name: Lin
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Dec 1, 2018 9:21 AM CST
I don't grow Imperial Taro (Colocasia esculenta 'Illustris') but it's a plant that is sometimes grown in water, as a bog plant.

As Sally suggested, the leaf discoloration on your plants may be spider mite damage. Spider mites are usually found in hot, dry conditions. They are extremely tiny insects, difficult to see and usually detected by webbing beneath the leaves and on the stems. Spider mites pierce the plant tissue, sucking out the fluids, causing tiny light colored dots on the leaves.

Here's a short article regarding spider mites and their control: https://garden.org/learn/artic...

And I found this article about Spider Mites in Western Australia with photos and information: https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/pl...
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 1, 2018 7:44 PM CST
I have this in my yard. It won't go dormant here unless it freezes back. None of the colocasias, alocasias, or xanthosomas do. If its spring or summer where you are it should be going great guns. Seeing that your stems look normal, I agree with Lin and Sally, it looks like mite infestation. These make great pond plants, as do all the colocasias. If you want to retain the dark coloration of the leaves, they need full sun.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Perth wa
Hannah10
Dec 1, 2018 8:31 PM CST
Thanks for the tips guys. The plant did have those white marks on them before but not as bad. I don't think it's sunburn as I haven't had them outside just indirect bright light. Also my newest leaf was looking great but it's now rather soft and it's tip has gone dry crispy and scrunched up, could this be due to mites? Maybe I can spray some neem oil mixed with water as long as it doesn't damage the leaves. I was also wondering if I should change the potting mix so it isn't boggy now they are indoors and not submerged in water or will this shock them and kill them? Such a hard plant for indoors 😂😭 x
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 1, 2018 9:51 PM CST
I would definitely treat for mites with Neem. Now, and a week from now, and for two weeks after.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Perth wa
Hannah10
Dec 1, 2018 11:35 PM CST
Thanks everyone... should I change my soul and maybe not have it so bogged if I'm keeping them inside? I just sprayed with neem oil and popped them outside Smiling
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 1, 2018 11:48 PM CST
Plants that are kept indoors cannot be expected to perform like plants that are grown outside or in a greenhouse. The need for water between houseplants and outdoor/greenhouse plants is really decreased. So is the light. Even the cleanest most pristine window cannot deliver the light that the unabraided sun can deliver, photon for photon. It never ceases to amaze me how many people post that their Monsteras and Philodendrons and whatnot are doing poorly inside because they are not really meant to be there. In Perth, I would expect you could put anything outdoors a lot of the time. If you are looking for an elephant ear that makes a good houseplant, Colocasia are not the first choice. Alocasia Loweii, Alocasia longiloba, Alocasia 'Purple Prince' are much better choices for long term indoor cultivation.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Perth wa
Hannah10
Dec 2, 2018 2:46 AM CST
Ok guys so I sprayed with neem oil and popped them outside! I just checked on them and my newest leaf has kind of died!!! Urgent help needed...
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 2, 2018 8:15 AM CST
You know you can cut all of those leaves off and just let the plant re-leaf. Your new leaves should come out healthy. If they don't your plant might have some other problem. When these are mailed bare root (as trades from people who trade plants) they are dug up and all the soil washed off the roots and tuber, all the leaves except maybe one for ID purposes are cut off, and the roots are wrapped in damp paper towels and sealed in a plastic bag. They then travel in a dark box 2-3 days to their new home and are replanted. It takes a week or so to get re-established and new growth to start coming back out. So cutting the leaves off won't hurt it.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 2, 2018 8:48 AM CST
These are some photos of mine. They go dormant in winter if it freezes, if we don't get significant cold for an extended period they stay up. I grow Colocasias of several different varieties both in the ground and in water as aquatics. The aquatics aren;t even containerized within the pond, they are unspotted and just kind of tossed in.
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Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Perth wa
Hannah10
Dec 2, 2018 9:16 AM CST
Thanks Gina Smiling yours look lovely. Where should I cut? Just the leaf? Or the whole stem to the base of the soil? X
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 2, 2018 3:26 PM CST
Cut the stems about half way if you want to, you don't really have to but if these leaves are bothering you you can. The thing is, once a leaf has had damage from sucking insects (scale, spider mites, aphides, thrips) the damage is there forever. It doesn't reverse itself and the leaf look normal just because the pests got treated and are dead....the leaf will always look wonky. If you remove them, you can leave a few of the very best to help it recover. And remember....you need to spray again in a week, then again a week after that and of good measure even a week after that. Be sure the solution gets down in all the crevices of the stems.

I have a Calathea crotalifera (Rattleshaker calathea) that got infested in August, I left the leaves on after treatment, but they will always look damaged. But they can still photosynthesize to nourish the plant, so I did not remove them.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 2, 2018 6:05 PM CST
Hannah, these are examples of leaves that I have left on plants after insect damage. Its really common this time of the year for the little buggers to come out and make a mess. I have to keep on top of it on a weekly basis. These leaves (anthurium, Heliconia, Brownea) have all had spider mite infestation. These leaves will never look normal, but they are not so bad that I would remove them. These plants are also different from something like a colocasia, they would not regenerate as quickly so I don't want to steal the energy from the plant by removing them. If you don't think its warranted you can leave your damaged leaves on. Just be sure to really treat well over the next few weeks. They may jettison themselves on their own...if they do, the last photo is what you want to look for...a new shoot
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Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Perth wa
Hannah10
Dec 4, 2018 12:52 AM CST
Hey Gina.. I've cut a few of the bad leaves off. I'm wondering if the neem oil is damaging my leaves further? I go by the intructions on the bottle and mix with water. For some reason the leaves are just drying/curling and shrinking around the edges. Could this be due to water? I do have a new leaf coming through so I believe it's still healthy, this will be by 2nd attempt at this plant 😩 here are some of my other plants which I've struggled with but seem to be doing ok now 😊
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Perth wa
Hannah10
Dec 4, 2018 3:11 AM CST
So Gina, since I last posted which was roughly say a hour ago... he has shriveled up even more!! 😩😩😩 the first and last photo is a post I found with similar issues but there were no comments!!
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Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
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Gina1960
Dec 4, 2018 7:00 AM CST
What strength are you mixing at? I mix mine at 1 tablespoon per gallon. It has never damaged any plant I have.
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Name: Gina
Florida (Zone 9a)
Tropical plant collector 35 years
Region: Florida Tropicals Aroids
Image
Gina1960
Dec 4, 2018 7:03 AM CST
You have only sprayed it once, right? You aren't spraying it every day are you?
Happy to consider trading plants, but ONLY with other people who also live in FLORIDA due to Federal Agriculture Laws
Perth wa
Hannah10
Dec 4, 2018 7:51 AM CST
I use the amount that's recommended I can't remember off the top of my head. 🙈

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